The information released so far on President Trump’s budget is very encouraging. It shows that the President is demonstrating a desire to move the United States back to constitutional government. For too long the Federal government has been spending hundreds of billions of dollars each year on unconstitutional programs, as shown by the annual Constitutional Budget report of The Conservative Caucus Foundation.
It appears that the President will increase spending on national security, a function which the Constitution clearly assigns to the Federal government. Defense spending has suffered as money has been diverted to unconstitutional uses.
The budget will also cut from unconstitutional programs. Prominent among these is the Department of Housing and Urban Development, whose programs cannot be derived from any of the powers delegated by the Constitution. While much of HUD’s spending will remain in place for now, we can hope that this is a first step toward phasing it out entirely.
Finally, the President rightly insists that the Federal government should continue to repay the money borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund so as to maintain full benefit payments. These surplus funds, borrowed over almost a half century, came from a 1983 Social Security tax increase that was adopted explicitly for the purpose of making Social Security financially viable for a longer period. The money should be put to no other use.
Peter J. Thomas is president of The Conservative Caucus Foundation.
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